Take a thirty second SNL skit that really isn't overly funny in the first place, and elongate it by about 180 times. What could possibly go wrong? Granted the movie does star my two favourite SNL cast members - Will "the upside-down man" Forte and Kristen "the spastic sex symbol" Wiig - and even puts Val Kilmer in as the snarky super villain (the hammy ne're-do-well is brilliantly casted btw) but of course, as is the case with probably about 94% of all SNL movies, the movie blows itself to bits as easily as the original TV skits did.
Not-so-loosely based on the cheesy cult hit of the eighties, the similarly sounding MacGruber is less of a loving parody or sardonic satire (either format would have worked better) than a (comic) serious attempt at recreating the show as Forte and co-scripters Jorma Taccone (who also directed) and John Solomon wish it had been. Full of shit and dick jokes, as much of today's attempts at comedy are, it is just a shame (though an expected one I suppose) that such talented people as Forte and Wiig are involved. Granted, it is Wiig's sublime wackiness and Forte's strange textural comedy (the foibles he attaches to his character, such as always carrying around his Blaupunkt car stereo, work for the most part) and one of the funniest love scenes this year(!?) that makes the film work as well as it does - which unfortunately, for all involved, is not all that well.
Attempting to pseudo set the film in the eighties (at least in its feel if not in its actual setting) - even casting Powers Boothe along with Kilmer to set the mood - may have worked if the comedy went along with the timeframe, but the relying on the aforementioned shit and dick jokes mucks up all the works. Again, it is a shame such great comedic talent (both Forte and Wiig are hee-larious on SNL!) must suffer for the pandering to audiences that runs rampant in these lowest-common-denominator movie times. But alas, we still have Tim Calhoun and the Taaaarget lady on Saturday nights. But then, how bad can a movie be that has, not one, but two scenes involving celery being jammed up a character's ass!? Now if this were a MacGruber skit, this is the spot that we would all blow up - perhaps such a thing should have occurred about thirty seconds into this movie. [06/17/10]